Monday, September 27, 2021

Cedar Mountain: ACW Brigade Fire & Fury - Part 1

I'm moving into using Brigade Fire & Fury for my ACW games.  I've always wanted to play this ruleset, however the number of "stands" needed is a major barrier to entry for the system.  That being said, I found a way to make this work for my existing collection.


If you are not familiar with the rules, essentially each brigade (unit) in the game can vary wildly in terms of the number of stands used to represent the unit.  Stands are removed as the brigade suffers casualties.  Generally speaking, brigades can range from between 4-18 stands for many scenarios.  I don't have my collection based in any way to accommodate this system.  In short, I found an easy way to quickly and fairly easily translate and track the brigade effectiveness (# of stands in a brigade) to my fixed sized units in the game.

In order to play test this all out and make sure the game still worked as it normally would, I setup an easy intro game, Cedar Mountain, which is originally from the version 1 scenario book, Great Eastern Battles.  This scenario was updated on this blog here: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk


BF&F is generally played in 15mm, but my collection is 28mm.  I took the map from the referenced blog and overlaid it with a grid for my 8 foot by 6 foot table.  A couple of pictures below of the table and initial setup.

Confederate order of battle is below.  While the Union forces are outnumbered on paper, the bulk of Ewell's division is reluctant to leave Cedar Mountain and so can't move off until the Confederate turn 5 (1900hrs turn).  Additionally, The majority of AP Hill's division moves on the table on turn 1 (1740hrs) so those forces need to move into position.


Union order of battle is below.   Everything starts on the table.  It is important for the Union to push early and hard.  The Union player can pickup VPs for simply having an unspent brigade on the main Confederate hill.


Since this is our first game, we took it slow to play through and make sure we didn't miss anything.  We played the Union and Confederate 1740hrs and 1800 hrs turns (2 full turns).  While this doesn't sound like much, this is a fast moving game with a lot of player engagement throughout the turns so a lot happened.

Coming into the Union 1820hrs turn the game can still go either way.  The Confederates have put a hurt on the Union left flank (closest to Cedar Mountain), but the Union has hit hard on the Confederate left.  Current the Union forces have lost 16 stands to the Confederates 26 stands.  Additionally, the Union is in a strong position to push into the Confederate center through the woods, limiting the ability of the Confederate forces to support their brigades with artillery fire.

We'll be continuing the action this Wednesday evening.

Pictures below using my SLR camera and zoom lens.

















Picture below from my phone.

More to come in part 2, with the conclusion of the battle.

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos, love the details on the table.

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  2. Hey Jay, your table is museum quality! The trees are superb, and I'm loving your roads and the grassed areas. Please say how you did them. Truthfully, your phone pics are more illustrative than your camera. Congrats on an outstanding set up.

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    1. Thanks Steve! The roads - lol, don't laugh ... that is just Woodland Scenics medium ballast - the same I used for the fortifications for my Vicksburg game. I just poured it out on the table. It sweeps up with my little dust pan and brush easy enough. My normal molded roads just aren't as ... ummm ... flexible for curves and elevations I needed. Rest is just my basic fur mat (from David S.), foam I cut and shaped roughly stuck under for the hills, and the rest of the usual details I stick on the table.

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    2. You make it sound so easy...Thought that's what you did re roads, and your reason is what we all deal with, sometimes made roads don't accommodate the scenario. The important thing is the immediate effect on those viewing, and this scenario is exceptional! Today you get a wargaming no-prize. Congrats!

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    3. lol. You got it. I also needed to delineate between "good roads" and regular roads/trails that don't provide a movement bonus. It all worked out great :-)

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  3. Great looking game, I might try that scenario but with our own house rules 👍

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  4. Lovely stuff! (Jemima Fawr here, using my wife's login) and far better looking than my effort! :)

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    1. Ahhh! Very cool, thanks for doing all the conversion work!!

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    2. You're welcome! It's obviously too late, but I've now added unit labels to the scenario - also done for the Antietam scenario.

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    3. Oooo, I'll check out the Antietam scenario for sure!

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  5. Late to the party, as always I look forward to viewing your games and models. It’s been years since I played Brigade Fire & Fury, but would the idea of having individual figures equaling stands work? 18 man units would still look good, but 4 man might be a bit off.

    Cheers
    Kevin

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    1. Thanks Kevin! Individual figures I think are fine so long as you can do 2 things:

      1. Represent remaining brigade effectiveness.
      2. Represent formations (line, supported line, field column, march column).

      If you can do the above I think you can use whatever basing scheme you want.

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  6. Hi Jay, lovely table and miniatures as always. If I'm not mistaken, you had put a lot of time and efforts in This Hallowed Ground, so why the switch to F&F?

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    1. Thanks! Yes, lots of time into This Hallowed Ground. I found the THG games in general mainly turned into "line up and go forward" - so lacked any real tactical movement. Also, while melee was deadly, I found it really ground down the progress of the game. So I started working on some major changes to THG, but found the direction I was going in was very "Fire and Fury" like. So I figured I would instead put effort into making F&F work with my collection. I've also always admired the F&F rules as I think they are the most "flavorful" ACW rules.

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